Posts Tagged ‘Scripture Memory’


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:01 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Your reputation is an asset far more important than anything you can buy. The respect of others and their affection for you is an asset you should pursue with great zeal. Your character is a precious treasure that you should enhance each day by wise choices.

What do people think, when they hear your name? Do they think graciousness, godliness, diligence, and faithfulness? Is your name sweet to their ears and thoughts? How do they speak of you to others? Are you often praised in your absence? Do others crave your company? Do they want to honor you with affection, gifts, and service?

Or is your name a bitter thought? Do they think harshness, selfishness, stubbornness, pride, moodiness, or indiscretion? Do they try to avoid you? Do they avoid you? When others talk about you, do they have to make excuses for your conduct? Do they pass over you for invitations or assignments, because you are more irritating than pleasing?

You cannot ignore these questions and be wise. Your reputation and relationships are a great measure of your life. Stop and examine your reputation with others. What others think of you is a far more accurate picture of your life than what you think about yourself, for you have an obvious bias to distort facts in your favor, and you have a deceitful heart that is deeply infatuated with yourself (Pr 16:2; 20:6; 21:2; Jer 17:9; Gal 6:3).

Some people are used as well known examples of specific virtues or all virtues. Others are used as examples of poor character and problems. How is your name used? Are you spoken about affectionately and respectfully, or critically and negatively? Many have no outstanding virtues at all, so they pass through life without any honor or favor, which shows a lack of diligence and priority in pursuing godliness and virtue.

What is a good name? It is not your parents’ choice of a distinguished combination of syllables that sounds sophisticated, classy, or pleasant. It is not merely being named after a respected ancestor. Your bare name has no value at all. Solomon used “good name” as a metonym for a good reputation. He exhorted his son to emphasize having a good reputation with God and good men as one of the chief goals of life (Pr 3:4).

What is loving favour here? It is not giving love and favour to others, but rather receiving love and favour from others. It is obtaining affection and respect from other virtuous persons. It is obtaining their acceptance and approval of your life. Of course, reaching such a position requires you to carefully rule your conduct to please others. It requires consistent righteous behavior to hold the esteem and trust of others (Eccl 10:1).

The proverb has an ellipsis, which is missing words that shorten the sentence and give it boldness. The second clause may be read, “And loving favour is to be chosen rather than silver and gold.” These words taken from the first clause are important to fill out the whole sense of the proverb. A comparison and choice is being taught in both clauses.

In each case it is your choice. You can choose a good reputation and the loving approval of others. It is your choice. Both should be a priority. Both are more important than other measures of success. Circumstances or discrimination are excuses for foolish or lazy men who have not properly pursued these important goals. A wise man will pursue both.

What is the lesson? You should put great emphasis on your reputation and relationships. While many men chase financial and professional success with all their might, Solomon exhorted his son to value his reputation and relationships higher than these other goals. He wanted his son to grow in favor with God and men, and he ranked the importance of this achievement as more valuable than great riches (Pr 3:4; I Sam 2:26; Luke 2:52).

How do you measure by Solomon’s lesson? How important is your reputation to you? Is it more important than any amount of money or success? Do you work harder to improve your name than to get ahead financially? How much do you value the esteem and respect of good men? Do you regularly examine your conduct to be without offence? Do you go out of your way to make sure each thing you do is done very well for all concerned?

God measures you by what others think. You cannot please God and offend good men at the same time. It is impossible. If you are pleasing God and keeping His commandments, you will please others (I Sam 18:14-16; I John 5:2). And your family and close friends do not count, for it is your reputation before good men that is the key. You can easily tell a person’s character by the number and kind of friends he has. These facts do not lie.

Of course, others’ opinions are not your only measure, or the most important (John 5:44). But they are a measure. You foolishly deceive yourself to approve your life and conduct, if good men and women have a low regard of you. Joseph and Daniel were highly regarded even as captives in foreign lands by their excellent spirits and blameless lives.

Demetrius had a great name and reputation of the apostles and all men (III John 1:12); Timothy was highly regarded both before and after he met Paul (Acts 16:1-2; Phil 2:19-22). This high measure of a good reputation in the world is a necessary qualification for the bishops of Jesus Christ’s churches (I Tim 3:7). How do you measure up?

A good reputation before the world is possible, but some ungodly men will not appreciate your righteousness (I Thess 4:12; I Pet 2:12; Dan 6:3-5; Luke 6:26). Solomon primarily intended good and wise men, who know the heart and will of God and measure other men by godliness. Compromise or friendship with the world is a trait of sinners (Jas 4:4).

Your opinion of yourself is quite worthless. It is usually contrary to fact. People with good reputations generally think poorly of themselves, which keeps them humble and sensitive to others; but those with bad reputations think themselves quite desirable, leading to offensive arrogance. The difference between humble modesty and self-righteousness is a large part of a good name, which is built on low self-esteem.

Your great goal is to grow in “loving favour” with God and men, as did Samuel and the Lord Jesus Christ (3:4; I Sam 2:26; Luke 2:52). This happens when you keep the two great commandments – love of God and love of neighbor. The “loving favour” of the proverb is how God and others treat you, which you can choose by living a consistent life of godliness and love toward them. An excellent spirit will cause others to love you.

So great are these goals – your reputation and esteem by others – they should exceed any other goal. Men work long days of hard labor for many years to get rich, but building a good name and reputation are more important. If you had a choice between a good reputation and precious ointment, which was of great value in Israel’s very dry climate and provided much personal pleasure, you should choose the good name (Eccl 7:1).

Consider your funeral (Pr 10:7). The memory of just men is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot. How will you be remembered? How long will you be remembered? Will your memory bring pleasant thoughts to hearts? Or will most cringe and be relieved? The number of persons, and their character, and their reaction at a funeral say a great deal.

You have two names. Your first name is your personal name, a unique identifier among the billions on earth. How you live and treat others creates the reputation of your first name. God gave you that name at birth with a blank reputation. What have you done with it since? You have either enhanced it or damaged it. With a single word, your name, reactions and thoughts are triggered in others. What are those thoughts?

Your second name is your surname or family name. How your family lives and treats others creates its reputation. Do you promote your family name? Or are you letting it decay? Do others desire to be with your family? Or have they been offended enough to back away? Do others want to marry into your family to obtain an interest in a good name? A good surname takes consistent godliness from many different persons.

David had a great name in the Bible. His name was much set by in Israel (I Sam 16:18; 18:30). Though Saul was king with a princely son, Jonathan and the nation loved David, for he was better than any other (I Sam 18:1-16). Everyone wanted to be with David, be like David, or be married to David. He earned this by being gracious, humble, and wise at all times. God chose this man, though a sinner, as an example of a great name in Israel.

Blessings at Solomon’s coronation included having a name greater than his father David’s name, which was easily the greatest in Israel (I Kings 1:47). Even God compared all later kings to David, and he was described as a man after God’s own heart. What a goal! How do you measure up, reader? Good fathers will want their sons to exceed them in reputation and loving favour, for they will know the many mistakes they have made.

Nabal was the opposite. He was churlish – overbearing, harsh, and difficult (I Sam 25:2). His name meant fool, and even his wife said he was a fool (I Sam 25:25). He was a man of Belial – wicked and profane. The Lord let him think about dying for ten days before killing him, so David could marry his beautiful wife right after his funeral (I Sam 25:39).

Consider Joseph. Though a slave, he earned the loving favour of God and Potiphar by his exemplary conduct (Gen 39:1-6). Though charged with attempted rape, he earned the loving favour of God and the jailor (Gen 39:19-23). Though a long-term prisoner, he earned the loving favour of God and Pharaoh (Gen 41:38-45; Acts 7:10). Anyone who says their circumstances or past have poorly affected their name is just making excuses.

Consider Daniel. Though a captive eunuch from a strange, small country, he earned the loving favour of God and Ashpenaz, the prince of the eunuchs in Babylon (Dan 1:9). Though living a public life for many decades, his enemies could not find a single error or fault by which to accuse him to the king (Dan 6:1-5). What a role model for young men!

What can you do to build your name and reputation and win the loving favour of others?

Everything you do every day contributes toward your reputation and the favour of others. No matter how small or large, the accumulated effect of your words and actions combine to give God and men an appraisal of your character and faithfulness. Therefore, it is your solemn duty and privilege to keep your heart, lips, and feet with all prudent diligence.

Graciousness is the greatest trait for a good name and the loving favour of others, for it can win the friendship of kings and cause women to be always honored (Pr 22:11; 11:16). It is the perfect combination of gentleness, kindness, humility, and cheerfulness that makes men and women charming and delightful. How gracious are you?

Men love those who help build their lives (Pr 27:9,17; Ps 141:3). Are you a tree of life to others (Pr 11:30; 15:4)? Do they benefit by being around you (Pr 9:8; 25:12; 28:23)? Do they seek you for help? Would you help fellow prisoners like Joseph did? Or your captors like Daniel did? Or a lustful king like Esther did? Or many widows like Dorcas did?

Is your speech a healing balm, a sarcastic whip, or a foolish noise? Men love pleasant and good words that are kind, gentle, friendly, and helpful (Pr 12:18; 16:24; 18:21; 25:11). Is your speech always gracious with only a slight saltiness of rebuke to it (Col 4:6)?

Charity never fails! If you learn and apply the fifteen phrases describing true love (I Cor 13:4-7), your name will blossom as a beautiful flower. If your name is not great and your friends are few, it is evidence you have not learned true love. Charity never fails!

Just a little folly can spoil a reputation quickly (Eccl 10:1), so you must avoid even the appearance of evil (I Thess 5:22). And you must quickly make amends for offences (Matt 5:23-24). Ruling your spirit constantly is necessary to stay virtuous (Pr 16:32). Paul took extra measures to make sure he could never be accused of dishonesty (II Cor 8:21).

Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men and well received most anywhere, knows the wisdom of this proverb. He teaches others, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.”

John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in human history, said, “The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit – a reputation, character.” He also said, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” This latter idea agrees well with Paul (Ro 12:17; II Cor 8:21).

If you are young, you have an advantage.  Your reputation is still being formed, and you should apply yourself with all diligence to make it the very best before God and men. If you are young, you have not made as many mistakes as older persons, meaning you have less to live down. Choose today to make this proverb a high goal and live according to it.

Have you blown your reputation already? Do you think it is too late? It is never too late, if you will repent before God, confess your sins to him, confess your faults to others, and make amends or restitution for any wrongs you have done. David recovered his reputation after terrible sins, and so did Zacchaeus and Peter (Luke 19:1-9; Gal 2:9).

Your name and reputation are daily choices, and you should choose to build them and preserve them more than any other project or goal. You can change your name and reputation, so consider it a blessed privilege, duty, and a high priority for your life. Rather than emphasizing exercise, diet, and sleep to build your body, which has little value to God or men, exercise yourself unto godliness and loving others (I Tim 4:7).

Husband, do you love your wife enough to help build her name and loving favour with others? Parent, do you understand the importance of this proverb as a goal for your children? Diligent efforts should be made every day to make sure your family name and that of each family member is clear of offence. What a wonderful family objective!

If you have taken the name of Jesus Christ as a Christian, it is important that your name and reputation give honor to your religion and its Leader (II Tim 2:19). Be like those of Pentecost, who grew in favor with all the people (Acts 2:47; Phil 2:14-16). Let your life adorn the doctrine of God with glory and beauty (Titus 2:5,8,10). Be like those nameless brethren endorsed by Paul as “the glory of Christ” (II Cor 8:23).

Jesus of Nazareth grew in favour with God and men during his youth (Luke 2:52). He was most gracious in conduct and speech (Ps 45:2; Luke 4:22). Because He loved righteousness and hated wickedness, God’s loving favour blessed Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows (Heb 1:9). His name is above every name by many measures. Choose to have a perfect name, even as His name is perfect in heaven and in earth.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and flattering mouth works ruin

Good words do not prove good intentions. Liars and flatterers are out to destroy you, no matter how good their words sound, no matter their excuses (Pr 26:24-25). A wise man rejects both kinds of men, just as David did (Ps 101:3-8). If you tolerate these deceitful people in your life, they will take you down (Pr 20:19; 29:5). They are hiding hatred and destruction behind their lying words, and noble and prudent men will stay far from them.

A man lies for advantage or to protect himself. He is selfish and wicked, so he feels no guilt about deceiving you in order to advance himself. It does not matter what his relationship is to you or how kindly he speaks at other times. If he has lied to you, then you should run far from him, whether it is a slander about you or a lie to your face. His deceit proves that he hates you. He is out to hurt you or use you. True friends never lie.

Flattery is praise designed to deceive you into doing what the flatterer wants you to do. It is a form of lying, but it is harder to detect and resist. Men love praise, so they are easily lulled to sleep by flattery. It is poison in a spoonful of honey. A flatterer is more dangerous than a slanderer, for he is crafty, friendly, and subtle in working his deceit, while liars are more easily detected by their open malice and wickedness.

Are you vigilant and intolerant against deceivers? Aggressive salesmen may lie or flatter to sell an inferior product. Many girls have lost their virginity or women their marital fidelity to lying flattery of whoremongers (II Sam 13:1-13). Many men have been led to hell by flattering lies of whorish women (Pr 2:16-18; 5:3; 6:24-26; 7:5,21-23). Many citizens have voted for corrupt politicians due to flattery and false promises, for the election process in most nations is based on words rather than character or performance.

Parent, you must punish lying and flattery, and you must teach children to reject liars and flatterers (Job 32:21-22). Teach them that God hates liars, He will judge them, and liars are going to hell (Pr 6:16-19; Job 17:5; Ps 12:2-3; Rev 21:8). Teach them that friends who tell the truth even when it hurts are better than kisses from an enemy (Pr 27:5-6). Teach them that men should be judged by their actions and lives, not words (Pr 20:11).

Religion has many lies and flattery, for the devil has used it since Eden (Gen 3:1-13; John 8:44). The Jews flattered and lied to Jesus to trap him (Luke 20:20-21). False teachers use good words and fair speeches to deceive simple hearers (Rom 16:17-18). Rome tells the lies of abstaining from meat and marriage (I Tim 4:1-3). But God’s faithful pastors and teachers never use flattering speech or lies (II Cor 2:17; 4:2; I Thess 2:3-6).

Jehovah is God of truth, and so is His Son Jesus Christ, Who is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11). He expects honesty and truthfulness from His children, and He punishes all liars and flatterers. All who take His name must make sure their every word is honest, sincere, and true – and obviously so in the ears of all others (Deut 32:4; Rom 12:17; I Pet 2:12).


Under Gods Command

Good Pride and Bad Pride

Proverbs 11:02 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Galatians 6:4-5 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.

There are two kinds of pride.
One is the opposite of humility; it is very bad. The other is the opposite of shame; it is very good.
• The kind of pride that is the opposite of humility leaves God and other circumstances out of our successes. It claims that whatever we have achieved, we have achieved by our own virtue. The essence of this kind of pride is self-centeredness and selfishness and it is condemned by Scripture. This does not mean, however, that the Bible is opposed to the self. The self is one of God’s good creations; selfishness is worshiping the creation rather than the creator. Bad pride is the kind of selfishness that always wants to be center stage that takes all the credit, that leaves God out, that gives no thanks to other people that goes it alone. It is the opposite of what God desires for us.
• The kind of pride that is the opposite of shame has to do with a job well done, with excellence, with striving for the best, with rising above mediocrity. In a Christian, this kind of pride attempts to give of its best to the Master.

People who misunderstand the difference between the two kinds of pride may have a misimpression of the Christian faith. Christianity is not opposed to excellence. It is not opposed to putting forth your best effort, excelling, and achieving. No, it is only opposed to a person’s thinking he can excel without ‘God’s help.
• Selfish pride is the opposite of thankfulness and gratitude. It show no gratitude to God for a healthy body, a healthy mind, good parents, a good national heritage, a good diet, and a thousand other blessing over which the person has no control. A person filled with selfish pride thinks he has created himself through his own efforts….. The other kind of pride doesn’t finish playing a solo and say it was nothing. It is not unable to accept a compliment.
• The pride that is opposite to shame can say thank you and give credit where credit is due. It can thank God for his gifts and at the same time acknowledge good work when it is done. The person who can accept a compliment is not arrogant. He knows where his dexterous fingers come from, who gave him his mind and his sense of rhythm.

Have you been successful? Do people praise your achievements? Give credit to God in thankful prayer for each gift he has given you.

Please remember that these emails are going to over 100 people. I used BCC to keep your email address private. I just want to share my own personal walk with you, and yes, please hold me accountable for my actions. I love you all and there is nothing that you can do about it.


Under Gods Command
Lamentations 3:39-42 – Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins? Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.

Parents discipline children to produce right behavior. God disciplined Judah to produce right living and genuine worship. We must not complain about corrective or instructive discipline in our lives but learn from it trusting God and being willing to change. We must allow God’s correction to bring about the kind of behavior in our life that pleases him.


Under Gods Command
Proverbs 15:14 – The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

What we feed our minds is just as important as what we feed our bodies. The kinds of books we read, the people we talk with, the music we listen to, and the films we watch are all part of our mental diet. Be discerning because what you feed your mind influences your total health and well-being. Thus, a strong desire to discover knowledge is a mark of wisdom.


Under Gods Command

Lamentations 1:14 – My sins have been bound into a yoke, by his hands they were woven together. They have come upon my neck and the Lord has sapped my strength. He has handed me over to those I cannot withstand.

At first, sin seems to offer freedom. But the liberty to do anything we want gradually becomes a desire to do everything. Then we become captive to sin, bound by its “yoke.” Freedom from sin’s captivity comes only form God. He gives us freedom, not to do anything we want, but to what he knows is best for us. Strange as it may seem, true freedom comes in obeying God-following his guidance so that we can receive his best.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 14:09 Fool mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.

How rarely we find goodwill around us today. Angry drivers scowl at each other in the streets. People fight to be first in line. Disgruntled employers and employees both demand their rights. But the common bond of God’s people should be goodwill. Those with goodwill think the best of others and assume that others have good motives and intend to do what is right. When someone crosses you, and you feel your blood pressure rising, ask yourself, “How can I show goodwill to this person?”